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December 1, 2023

In-Person Catchup Is Cause for Latitudes of Celebration

On Wednesday, November 29, the crew of Latitude 38 came together for our annual holiday party. In years past the celebration had been held over Zoom (we imagine many will be familiar with that type of party), then 2022 brought us closer, though still cautiously. But this year, crew came from near and far to gather at the Sausalito Cruising Club for what turned out to be a “jolly” good evening.

Remote work has us all sitting at our desks, in our own home or office — with anywhere from neighborhoods to continents between us. Thus, when it transpired that some of our remote crew were on the move this week, it was a perfect opportunity to indulge in some in-person contact. All up, 12 crew and an assortment of plus-ones enjoyed a few hours of real conversation and shared activity. Editors-at-large Andy Turpin and John Riise were the farthest traveled, with the rest of us hailing from within an hour or so of one another. Nonetheless, time and distance dissolved as everyone sailed into the camaraderie once shared daily, in the office.

Party people
And that’s not all! Some revelers remained behind the camera.
© 2023 Julie Turpin

Of course, no holiday party is complete without a Secret Santa of some sort, and this fun activity did not disappoint. The table was laden with surprises as everyone in numbered turn took their chances with an unknown gift.

Andy Turpin looked pretty happy with his new calligraphy set, though it was stolen not long after.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Here are a few more photos, just to prove that we do more than just sail and write:

All of us here at Latitude 38 would like to extend an enormous thank you to our hosts for the evening, the Sausalito Cruising Club. A special thank you goes to Markana for feeding us with her excellent culinary delights, and to our bartender Ernest for making sure our glasses were never empty.

And we’d like to say thank you to you, our wonderful readers and advertisers. Because if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have all gotten together on Wednesday!

Latitude 38’s December Issue Out Today

“Ho! Ho! Ho!” — the December issue of Latitude 38 is out today! Volume #558. We may be coming into winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, but this month’s cover photo reminds us that it’s always warm and sunny somewhere.

man laying on sailboat
Aaron Stagg demonstrates why they don’t rush on Patsy Verhoeven’s Gulfstar 50 Talion — the sailingest boat in the Baja Ha-Ha never motors.
© 2023 Heidi Benson Stagg

A Lively 29th Baja Ha-Ha

In this issue, Richard Spindler, aka the Grand Poobah, shares a roundup of this year’s Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers’ Rally to Mexico. 

Thanks to considerable motoring, the first quarter of the fleet arrived at the Turtle Bay first stop late in the afternoon of the third day, with about half the fleet arriving by the next morning. Everybody received the usual warm Turtle Bay welcome, where makeshift bars and restaurants had been set up for the celebratory beach party.

Kim and Lena Eddy on the Island Packet Amazing Grace met on the Latitude 38 Crew List and got married on July 1.
© 2023 Richard Spindler

Around the World at Latitude 38

The crew of Cetacea, a 30-ft electric Baba 30 cutter, made an amazing (although obvious, in hindsight) discovery between Bermuda and the Azores: The 38th parallel is totally awesome for sailing all over the world!

My partner Dena and I — I’m James — started living aboard Cetacea in her home port in Orcas Island, Washington, in 1999. We wasted no time heading south, and spent five years happily sailing the San Francisco Bay, the Sacramento River Delta, and the coast as far south as Monterey in the early 2000s. When we left for Hawaii in October/November 2006, we didn’t spend a whole lot of time at 38° N. We went out to the Farallones and took a left-ish turn until we hit the trades. All the weather pushes you to Hawaii, and that’s where we ended up 20 days later, at latitude 18° N. It was hot, the sun was intense, and we ultimately discovered we were about 20 degrees of latitude out of our comfort zone.

The Baba 30 cutter Cetacea sits at anchor a ways below latitude 38° in Vero Beach, Florida
© 2023 James Lane

Season Champions Part 1

We kick off our annual Season Champions features by highlighting the new (old) kids on the block. This year, organizers at the Master Mariners Benevolent Association, San Francisco Yacht Club and St. Francis YC banded together to create a San Francisco Bay Classics Championship Series. Three regattas counted in the series: MMBA’s Master Mariners Regatta in May, SFYC’s Great SF Schooner Cup and Belvedere Classic in July, and StFYC’s Jessica Cup in October. Each regatta has a different class structure; the boat totals in the results below are our own unofficial guesstimate.

Oriole leads the way in the Jessica Cup.
© 2023 Erik Simonson/

But there’s more … much, much more. We also have all your favorite columns:

  • Letters: As Heard on the Webb; Absent Owners?; My Boat Is Safe; Bon Voyage to the 29th Baja Ha-Ha; There Is No “Right” Answer; and many more.
  • Sightings: Daniela Moroz’s Road to the Olympics; The Sea Calls for a Young Sailor; A Speed of Light Renovation; and other stories.
  • Max Ebb: Roll Your Own Water Trail.
  • Racing Sheet: This issue highlights the change of seasons. We intersperse fall regattas (RYC Great Pumpkin, International Masters, SDYC Lipton Cup, DRYC Halloween Regatta) with national championships (ILCA Masters, Islander 36, Mercury) and winter races (RegattaPRO Winter One Design, GGYC Seaweed Soup, BYC Midwinters).
  • World of Charter: This month we hear from Elisa Williams of Alameda on chartering in the Ionian Isles in the company of nine others on two Bavaria 44s.
  • Changes in Latitudes: With reports this month on Ellie’s trip to Alaska; Sail a Vie’s brush with a hurricane; Geja’s summer cruising the Med; and some notable, quotable Cruise Notes.
  • Loose Lips: Catch up on November’s Caption Contest(!) winners.
  • The sailboat owners and buyers’ bible, Classy Classifieds.

If you’re a subscriber, your magazine is on its way. Or you can go to your own favorite or nearest outlet. Here’s a map of where to find Latitude 38 magazine.

Beneteau Holiday Sales Event At Naos

Still looking for a gift? Don’t miss this exceptional offer, we’ll help you find your Dream Boat. Contact the team at Naos Yachts for more information.

Lauren Eisele: Up to Her Neck in Sea Level Rise and Sailing

The good news about sea level rise is we might not have to do so much dredging. The bad news is the pedestrian bridge over the Estuary will have lower clearance, while other aspects of boating access may get curtailed as marinas, yacht clubs and other facilities become undermined, flooded, eroded or inaccessible. As always, the future is a mystery, but folks like Lauren Eisele and others in charge of looking ahead are taking action today.

King Tide at Clipper Harbor flooded
One resiliency solution is to buy taller sea boots to get from land to the start of the dock.
© 2023 Robert Sanford

We received a note from Bay Area sailor Lauren Eisele, who’s one of many people and organizations planning for and helping to mitigate these climate impacts. She sent us a note keeping us updated with her latest mission to help the Bay Area create climate change resiliency. Coastal communities worldwide are at varying stages of trying to both prevent sea level rise and adapt to however much is coming our way. Eisele credits Bay Area municipalities for being ahead of the curve compared to many coastal regions.

Lauren has had many sailing adventures and much instructional time at Club Nautique. She’s also been running women’s sailing seminars such as the one at the Corinthian Yacht Club this past fall, and she conducts many other instructional and charter operations on the water. Her professional career includes roles as Senior Maritime Project Administrator for the Port of Oakland and Senior Environmental Planner for the Port of San Francisco. This is just the tip of the melting iceberg. (The world’s largest iceberg just broke off in Antartica.)

Lauren Eisele Nicki Bennett
Lauren shares some of her sailing wisdom with Latitude 38 sales manager Nicki Bennett’s mom, Terrie Bennett, aboard Nicki’s Ericson 32, Sospiro.
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Lauren shares some of her sailing wisdom with Latitude 38 sales manager Nicki Bennett.

Lauren wrote, “As a member of my Bay Area community, I know you are concerned with the potential effects of climate change on our communities. Where and how we live, work and play will all be impacted in the near future. But the good news is that our local governments, academic institutions and community-based organizations are informed, and are initiating many efforts to address the potential impacts of flooding, extreme heat, drought, wildfire and the resultant public health impacts. We are very lucky to have these educated, concerned and capable people working on our solutions, but we need more engagement from the private sector and residents like you.”

For those interested in learning more and helping, Lauren sent a few links to programs currently underway, as well as the video below from the BCDC.

BCDC video on sea level rise resiliency planning and bike paths.
© 2023 BCDC

While we applaud the BCDC’s initiatives to preserve and protect the waterfront, we’re disappointed when the soundtrack suggests a focus on bike and pedestrian pathways, which we feel is a misguided view of preserving “Bay access.” Our interpretation of Bay access is all paths that lead into and out of the Bay (launch ramps, marinas, youth programs, etc.), not just the paths behind the riprap shorelines that ring the Bay. The December story from Max Ebb highlights some of the failures of Bay access for small boats with a story on “Roll Your Own Water Trail.”

Pedestrian path and Rip Rap
A view and a sign from a pedestrian path across the shoreline riprap appears to say, “Walk around the Bay and play somewhere else.”
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Lauren is working with local Alameda and Oakland communities on groundbreaking adaptation planning studies for the Oakland-Alameda Estuary and San Leandro Bay, and sent some links for those who’d like to see what these projects might entail. Like the pedestrian bridge over the Estuary or the proposed rebuilding of the San Francisco Marina, many projects reach the boating community last. It’s wise for those with waterfront interests to be aware of what’s happening and have their voices heard earlier rather than later.

Kind Tide Sea level rise
King tides often show the startling impact of sea level rise, but there’s more than meets the eye. Many of the unseen impacts arrive sooner and in stealth mode.
© 2023 John Tuma

The Oakland-Alameda Adaptation Working Group is leading three adaptation projects:

Subregional Long-Term Adaptation Plan
Oakland-Alameda Estuary Adaptation Project
Bay Farm Island Adaptation Project

As Lauren wrote, “Our leaders can’t solve these problems in a vacuum; they need your help. Please consider participating in these projects and helping spread the word.” So we’re spreading the word.

As we move into the new year, Lauren will be up to her neck in teaching more sailing and leading more focused community engagement on local sea level rise resiliency so we can all keep our heads above water. Specifically, she’ll be working on the Oakland-Alameda Estuary Adaptation Project, which will include waterfront walks and talks in spring 2024. Sea level rise is a slow process, but so is the permitting and civil and human engineering needed to address it. With everyone’s participation, the health of the Bay and waterfront access can be maintained.

If you would like to join Lauren and other forward-thinking people to help the Alameda Area adapt to rising sea levels, you can contact Gail Payne at the City of Alameda.

All the (Yacht Racing) News That Didn’t Fit

Even as the 2023 yacht racing season winds down, the pages allotted to Racing Sheet in the December issue of Latitude 38 were so action-packed that we ran out of space for the Race Notes section that appears in most editions. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to include them here.

The Wosser Trophies

Latitude’s publisher, John Arndt, spoke about the Wosser Trophies at the Yacht Racing Association’s awards presentation, hosted by Richmond Yacht Club on November 18. The Jake Wosser Trophy goes to the winner of the largest one-design fleet regatta of the year. John said that 5O5 world champions Mike Martin and Adam Lowry receive that honor. St. Francis YC hosted the 60-boat Worlds on September 21-October 1. An out-of-towner could thus have won the Jake Wosser Trophy, but Mike and Adam are Bay Area sailors. They compete under the burgee of StFYC.

Wosser Trophies
Left to right: Ruth Wosser Trophy, Susie Wosser Trophy, Jake Wosser Trophy
© 2023 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Chris

Nominations remain open for the Ruth Wosser Trophy and the Susie Wosser Trophy. The Ruth Wosser Trophy goes to the owner whose boat has sailed in the most YRA-sanctioned or Coast Guard-approved race days in a year. (Apply here.) The Susie Wosser Trophy goes to the boat owner who takes the most individuals racing during the year (extra credit for youth sailors). (Apply here.) Applications will close on December 15. Learn more in our ‘Lectronic post of November 8.

The Butler Cup

Long Beach YC hosted the World Sailing Grade 4 Butler Cup match-racing regatta on November 4-5. Eight teams participated, most from California, plus one from the Great Lakes. Competing in provided one-design Catalina 37 keelboats, the teams narrowed down to the Finals. Dave Hood, representing LBYC, bested Ryan Seago, sailing for Bayview YC in Michigan. Hood and crew proved unbeatable, with a perfect scoreline of 14 wins and 0 losses. Richard McGarvie, Chris Steele, Chris Main, Steve Natvig, William Tiller and Nick Blackman sailed with Hood. See for more.

Juegos Pan Am

The US Sailing Team really hauled in the metal at the Pan Am Games in Algarrobo, Chile. Nineteen Americans competed on October 28-November 4. Among West Coast sailors medaling, Daniela Moroz of Lafayette in the Bay Area won gold in the foiling kite. Ian Barrows and Hans Henken won gold in the 49er skiff; Henken is from Coronado in the San Diego area. Sarah Newberry-Moore and David Liebenberg (of Richmond) won silver in the Nacra 17, a foiling catamaran. By finishing as the top North Americans, Newberry-Moore and Liebenberg qualified the USA for the 2024 Olympics in the Nacra 17 event. See for complete results.

Nominations Open for Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year

“US Sailing is seeking nominees who are US citizens who have demonstrated on-the-water excellence at national and international events bringing global recognition to sailing in the United States while representing the United States in a calendar year,” writes Lexi Pline. Nominations will close on December 15.

“Following the close of the nomination period, US Sailing’s nominating committee, approved by the Board of Directors, will select three finalists for both the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Award based on the merits of the nominees. The finalists will be posted to a ballot and presented to voting groups of past award winners and sailing media journalists, who will vote for the winners.”

US Sailing will announce the winners in a ceremony in the spring — details to come. For more info and to nominate a sailor, go to

The organization has presented both awards since 1961, with the exception of 2020, ‘cuz you know why.